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Garfeild Goose & Friends
Chicago Local TV Shows:
Garfield Goose and Friends, Bozo's Circus, The Magic Door


Your whole site is great but thought I could provide you with a Garfield Goose picture from 1953 for your Chicago's Kid Show page. The fellow who hosted Garfield Goose and Friends was the late Frazier Thomas. Mr. Thomas was a ringmaster on Bozo's Circus, a role that Ned Locke also performed.

Ned Locke was also on a 1950's program called Lunchtime Little Theatre that aired prior to the launch of the highly successful Bozo's Circus. 'Lunchtime Little Theatre' also had Uncle Ned, Uncle Bucky and Aunt Dody.

Some other popular kid shows from the fifties and sixties in Chicago were: Susan's Show, a daily afternoon show that featured a talking table named Mr. Pegasus.

Bob Bell (who played the original Bozo on WGN) also had an afternoon show where he played an old theatre custodian named Andy. I think they played old Andy Clyde and Three Stooges shorts.

In the early fifties, a fellow by the name of Uncle Johnny Coons brought the Our Gang films back, renamed the Little Rascals by then.

Another very popular guy was Dick "Two Ton" Baker who played a pirate on his show. He also made television commercials yelling "Laugh your troubles away at Chicago's Riverview Amusement Park". How they got that big fellow out of the Wild Mouse (mini-roller coaster), I'll never know.

Another favorite was the Sunday morning Flash Gordon serials. It was hosted by a fellow by the name of Larry Goodman whose store was called Community Discount and they sold mostly army surplus items (great for kid's). Super Circus, with ringmaster Claude Kirchner and pretty Mary Hartline was a very popular show.

The name of the fellow in big game outfit was Charles Homer Bill (Chuck Bill) whose greeting each show was "Ding-hoy Feather Merchants." The name of the show escapes me, but Chuck Bill also co-hosted a radio show with Captain Stubby (of Captain Stubby & the Buccaneers.)

- Al

(The name of the show that Chuck Bill hosted, where he said "Ding Hoy, Feathermerchants!" - or "Little Feathermerchants" - was 'Adventuretime Theater.')
- Bill West

Chicago Local TV horror HostsChicago Local TV


Before Ray Rayner came on at 7:00am, WGN would show the Farm Report. It told the current prices of soybeans, corn and winter wheat, etc. After Ray Rayner's show was Garfield Goose and Friends - hosted by the same person that hosted the Sunday afternoon "Family Classics" movie. I think he also had something to do with Bozo's Circus. Garfield Goose had Christmas special with cartoons like Suzy Snowflake and Hardrock, Cocoa and Joe.

Remember The Magic Door? It was a Sunday morning show for Jewish kids, aired during the late 60's early 70's. I wasn't Jewish, but since that was the only kids show on Sundays, I would watch it. The characters were hand puppets except for the guy who was an elf (shrunk down by "video magic"). Kind of reminds me of the characters in Mr. Roger's Neighborhood.

The show started out with the elf-like guy, who would open a door into an acorn. He would sing some song "... Come thru the magic door with me, and wondrous things who'll see." One episode sticks in my mind about a bagel making machine that goes haywire. I remember not knowing what a bagel was, but thought they were a different name for donuts, since that's what they looked like.

- Rob Hennessy


I remember the Ray Rayner show very well. Throughout the 70's it was on WGN from 7:00 to 8:00. When Garfield Goose and Friends was cancelled, Frazier Thomas became the ringmaster on Bozo's Circus at noon and Ray Rayner & Friends went from 7:00 to 8:30. Ray was always calling his off-camera staff "Chauncy". He was a real treat.

Does anyone remember an afternoon show from Chicago's channel 32 (WFLD?) called B.J. and the Dirty Dragon? I think it might have actually moved to WGN after having been on channel 32.

- Collin Freeman


Claude Kirschner was the Ringmaster on Super Circus. It began in 1949 from Chicago on ABC, and his blonde assistant was Mary Hartline, decked out in a majorette costume, often twirling batons.

There were 3 clowns: Cliff Sobier as "Cliffy", Nicky Francis as "Nicky" and 2 people playing "Scampy". . Bardy Patton and Sandy Dobritch. In 1955, the show moved to New York, where Jerry Colonna (big eyes and huge moustache) took over as Ringmaster with Sandy Wirth as his assistant.

- Jim Douglas


Wearing a candy-striped sportcoat and waving a straw hat, he stuck his head above the fence and yelled, "Hiya, boys and girls!" To which we responded, "Hi, Uncle Bucky!" He said, "It's lunchtime, and it's time to have fun on the Lunchtime Little Theater.

With songs by Aunt Jeannie, the original Loony Tune cartoons, Uncle Ned with the smiley head, and me, Uncle Bucky!" Aunt Jeannie then played the theme song on the piano while Uncle Bucky and Uncle Ned sang, "It's lunchtime now, we'll show you how, your lunch can be lots of fun! For all you boys and girls there's a good time for everyone! For you, and you, and you, and you, a good time for everyone!"

The show was thirty minutes of silly jokes and skits interspersed with ancient black and white cartoons. Pretty lame now, but great fun in the early 1950s on Channel 9 in Chicago. I ran home from school to gobble my baloney sandwich while staring into the ten-inch screen of our old RCA table model television. Golden moments!


A favorite memory growing up in Skokie while walking home from Kindergarten at East Prairie School in 1955 was listening to Aunt Dody, Uncle Buckie and Uncle Ned on Lunchtime Little Theater.  

I don't remember the details of the show, other than the theme song; but I know I couldn't wait to watch it. (A child's indoctrination into television dependency.) I can sing the theme song, note perfect, I believe. Then I saw someone else had sent in almost this same sentiment to your page, and provided the song lyrics as well. I shouldn't be surprised; I'm sure there were kids like me all over who had the same experience.

- Scott Schada


There was a bizarre show that nobody I talk to seems to remember. It was called Ziggy Zoggo and aired in Chicago on Channel 7, I don't know if it was nationwide.

One part of the show was where the hostess Nancy Berg would talk on a giant telephone and another was where she looked at traffic from a hand held telescope while in a hot air balloon I believe. You saw the traffic as she did through the telescope.

Does that sound familiar to anyone, or am I the only one who saw this bizarre show??

-Mary


You remind me of all good things of my childhood in Itasca. The Three Stooges were also there.

Then Big Jim on WMAQ, Howard Miller, Barny Pipp (turn into peanut butter) Joel Sebastion, Clark Webber, Larry Lujack Dick Biandi , And all the guys at WGN, WCFL, WIND. We truly had our own pop culture in Chicago in those days.

What treasured memories. I remember sleeping out in my pup tent on those hot humid summer nights , listening to my "new" transistor radio" to Hoody Saperticker, Chuck Berry, and the whole lot.

What happened to Yardley Black Label Commercials, Gorilla Milk, Summer Blond and those days on the beach on the Fox River?

- Thanks for the memories, Glenn


I'd also like to comment on Gigglesnort Hotel. This show was a spin off of the popular, Chicago-based B.J. and Dirty Dragon. Both shows had a rather complicated cast. There was B.J., Dirty Dragon, Professor Plumtree and Mother Plumtree, Wally and Weird (who had the dopplegangers Wolf Wally and Frankenweird in addition to Weird's cousin--The Lemon Joe Kid--who looked like Weird but without any hair) and of course the mumbling and moaning wad of clay Blob. The shows were often complicated, scary, and great.

These shows forced us to come to terms with certain existential questions regarding notions of self, of re-defining one's self, and of authenticity.
- Scott Lucero

If you say so, Scott! Check out our page on Gigglesnorth Hotel and the other Bill Jackson shows and find out for yourself!  

 

 

Chicago Local TV Shows
by YOU


Garfield Goose and Friends was one of the longest-running local kid's show of all time, debuting in 1952 and running into the Eighties. It started out on WBKB, moved to WBBT for a year until finally settling in at WGN.

Garfield Goose was the self-proclaimed "King of the United States", with the host Frazier Thomas dressing as the Goose's Prime Minister. Also seen were Beauregard Burnside the Bloodhound, Rohmberg Rabbit and MacIntosh Mouse (I'm holding a Macintosh mouse right now).

For a while, 'Garfield Goose and Friends' joined a growing umber of television shows with a chimp in the cast. The Magic Drawing Board and the Little Theatre Screen were introduced to take advantage of blue screen super-imposition.


Garfield Goose and Friends

I do have a couple of questions about Garfield Goose. There were a couple of features I loved on 'Garfield Goose'. One was an educational cartoon series called "The Funny Company." These kids (and a bird named Terry Dactl) had this terrific clubhouse made of old barrels and odds and ends. I lusted for a club house like that! Clutch Cargo (talk about limited animation!) was also on that show. But the one that still haunts me, I can't remember the name. It was a live action series of shorts about a group of boys who go down a river on a boat that takes them back in time to the time of the dinosaurs. My memory of it is probably far better that it actually was, but I'd love to see it again.

- Peter Jon Shuler


The film Peter Jon Shuler is thinking of is "Journey to the Beginning of Time". It was a 1954 Czech film dubbed in English. It was released in theaters and cut into 10 minute segments for TV syndication. It's available from a couple of sites online for $10 - $15.

- Ron Leifheit


I wonder how many people know the name of the theme song for the GARFIELD GOOSE SHOW? For many years while growing up I often wondered what the name was, so I wrote a letter to Frazier Thomas and asked him.

His reply was: "The name of the theme song for the GARFIELD GOOSE SHOW is 'MONKEY ON A STRING' part of ETHEL SMITH'S LP entitled BRIGHT AND BREEZY."

After searching for a long time I finally found the album in a second hand record store. every time I play the song it brings back fond memories of my childhood watching the show.

- Allen Chandler


I'm a big fan of Chicago Kids TV, having spent many hours watching Ray Rayner, Garfield Goose & Friends, Bozo's Circus and many of the others.

Ray and Garfield, King of the United States were my two favorites. I remember that if you wanted to see the the Roadrunner cartoon you had to be glued to the set by seven, because Ray always showed those cartoons within the first fifteen minutes. The early worm gets the bird, so to speak.

There were many mornings that I was in front of the tube before seven, and I'd tune in to WGN, but I'd lower the brightness so all I had was the deep baritone of O. Samuleson (who did the farm report every morning). He had the coolest voice. I met him years later and related my memories to him. He told me that he had heard many such comments, and all of them were positive. I guess kids just didn't mind waiting through the boring hog futures (what an oxymoron - hogs don't have futures, they have expiration dates), as long as they were soothed by that deep voice.

Do you remember the "Guess how many jellybeans in the glass jar" contest that Ray Rayner had every year? The winners were part of the rare studio audience for Ray's show, and each got to come up and choose a craft that either Chauncy made as the "perfect example," or Ray made to the best of his ability on-camera. Sure Chauncy's looked nicer, but wouldn't you rather have one of Ray's?

Cuddly Duddly

This Cuddly Dudley item is a Chicago Tribune Sunday insert from 1967 that you would cut and then fold into a story book.

Also seen here is a three inch diameter pinback button of Garfield Goose promoting Pepperidge Farm bread and rolls (no date).

Garfeild Goose & FriendsFYI; the little guy on Magic Door was named Tiny Tov, and the story behind why Clutch Cargo had real lips is that the creator's son was deaf, but he could read lips. There you have it, CC was a cartoon for the deaf!

- David Katz

Below are some photos David Katz was nice enough to share with us from the Chicago Broadcast Museum exhibit - if you live in or visit Chicago, this is a must-see!

Garfeild Goose & FriendsGarfeild Goose & Friends

Garfeild Goose & FriendsFor a few moments as I read through the page, I felt like I had gone back to a lost time when childhood innocence ruled the day: I begged my mother to make a scarf to send to Macintosh Mouse on Garfield Goose.

I was delirious with excitement and pride when the scarf was shown and I hear my name come out of our television set.

Garfeild Goose & FriendsMy mother is gone now and so are Mac, Garfield and Frazier, but the memories are still there. I wish my own kids had a chance to experience what children's television was really like. Too bad it's not that way today.

Thanks for taking me back. It was great!

- Michael O'Halloran


Does anyone remember a show that was on CBS (2) in Chicago a long time ago..It was called Susan's Show It starred a little pre-teen named Susan Heinkel and she would sit in her studio kitchen chair and with the words..."take me away flying chair ... take me away". She would be lifted by means of a hoist through the air and be transported to another world.

That's pretty much all I remember about it, but I do remember that Susan was a "heart throb" for me and many other young boys in the Chicagoland area. Does anyone remember the show and does anyone know what happened to the young lass named Susan?

- Walt on the West Coast (formerly from the Belmont/Harlem area of the great city of Chicago)


Here's some Chicago information and questions:

How about Elmer the Elephant and John Conrad on Channel Five in Chicago? It aired about noon on weekdays in the 50's and was followed by Elmer Turner and the News.

Jabberwockey Place with Jim Stewart and Pamela Puppet? The old Odeon Theater and Andy Starr? He always battled with Mrs. Phinstermacher. The Crimestopper Cruiser and Sergeant Pettibone? ("Okay chief...I'll Get on it right away!" Dick Tracy, Joe Jitsu, Mumbles, and B-B Eyes?).

Also for Garfield Goose fans, does anyone remember the name of the series which had the little kid on a quest of some sort asking everyone: "Is there justice in the jungle?".

Lunch Time Little Theater's Theme song: "IT'S LUNCHTIME NOW...IT'S FUN AND HOW! WITH UNCLE BUCKY...UNCLE NED AND ME..AUNT DODY".

Who sang: "Has anyone here seen Bubbles" and "I like stinky cheese"? Hint: He had his hair curled at Riverview. Whatever happened to the Blue Fairy or Treetop House?

Thanks for the memories, I'm glad I'm not alone,
- Mark Edwards Siefert


Re: Chicago kid's TV...No one mentioned this on the Ray Rayner or Bozo sections...It was probably in the late-70's when video games first hit that the two shows tried to cash in on the craze with TV Pow.

Viewers would send in postcards, hoping to be chosen to play. Each morning or afternoon (both Ray Rayner and Bozo played this), the show's host would draw a card and call the contestant at home (oh, live television!). The lucky viewer, along with the rest of us, would look to their TV to see a very primitive (by today's standards, naturally) black-and-white "video game."

It was basically a moving target/skeet shoot game. As the target rolled by, the contestant would fire the game's gun by saying "POW" into the telephone. The object was to hit the target (the gun's angle and the target's path changed every few seconds) as many times as possible within a time limit. It was funny to be able to tell which players had just gotten out of bed (saying "POW" VERY slowly and quietly), and which ones were overly nervous and hyper (the gun couldn't keep up with their UZI-like stacatto).

Also, remember Ray's "Sherlock Holmes style" baseball cap? Chicago is a city divided by the North & South, by the Cubs and the White Sox. When giving the score of yesterday's Cubs game, Ray would appear to be wearing the appropriate cap. When it came time to review the Pale Hose tilt of the previous day, he would twist the hat around to reveal the front of a Sox cap. Like any good politician/performer, Ray had to remain middle-of-the-road.

Thanks again for the memories, Paul Maloney


Someone mentioned "Here's Geraldine" and recently (1999) in a local paper there was a story of the host of that show Jim Stewart. He was suffering from Alzheimers in a nursing home in McHenry county area. He since died.

Does anyone remember the show that was on after school called Kiddie-a-GO-GO? It was on channel 26 I think. It was a dance show for kids. It was actually titled Mulqueen's Kiddie-A-GO-GO. It is another one nobody seems to remember along with Ziggy Zoggo which was a local show on WLS. Someone did mention it in the comments, so I guess a few people saw it!

I can't wait to take a trip to the Broadcast Museum in Chicago! - Mary O.

 


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